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Patent Filing In Pakistan

Patent Filing in Pakistan is governed by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2010 along with the Patent Rules, 2003. The first patent law in Pakistan was the Patent and Design Act of 1911, which was replaced by the Patents Ordinance of 2000. This Ordinance was amended in 2002, further in 2007 and again in 2010. The patent law in Pakistan is presently governed by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2010 along with the Patent Rules, 2003.

According to the Act, a patent is an exclusive rights granted for an invention for a limited period to make, use and sell the invention. The grant of patent rights excludes others from making, using, or selling the invention without prior permission or license from the patentee.

Who can apply for a patent in Pakistan?

In accordance with Section 11 of the Patents Ordinance, 2000, any of the following persons, whether alone or jointly with any other person, may make an application for a patent, namely:-

  • The true and first inventor of the invention;
  • The assignee of a person claiming to be the true and first inventor;
  • The legal representative of any deceased person who immediately before his/her death was entitled to make such an application.

What is Patentable in Pakistan?

As per Section 7 (1) of the Patents Ordinance, 2000, an invention should have the following characteristics in order to be patentable:

  • The invention is new.
  • It involves an inventive step.
  • It is capable of industrial application.

What is Non-Patentable in Pakistan?

Sub-section (2) and (4) of Section 7 of the Patents Ordinance following are the “non-patentable” inventions in Pakistan:

  • A discovery, scientific theory or mathematical method;
  • A literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other creation of purely aesthetic character;
  • A scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business;
  • The presentation of information;
  • Substances that exist in nature or if isolated therefrom;
  • For invention the prevention of commercial exploitation of which would be necessary to protect the “ordre public” or morality, including to protect human, animal or plant life or health or to avoid serious prejudice to the environment, provided that such exclusion is not made merely because the exploitation is prohibited by any law for the time being in force;
  • For plants and animals other than micro-organisms, and essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals other than non-biological and microbiological processes;
  • For diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods for the treatment of humans or animals;
  • For a new or subsequent use of a known product or process; and
  • For a mere change in physical appearance of a chemical product where the chemical formula or process of manufacture remains the same provided that this clause shall not apply to an invention fulfilling the criteria of patentability.
Relevant OfficeIPO Pakistan receives applications from the Patent Office, Karachi, IPO-headquarters Islamabad and IPO Regional Office, Lahore.
Law in ForcePatents Ordinance, 2000 along with Patent Rules, 2003
  PCT Contracting StateNo
  Paris ConventionYes
Document(s) required for filing patent application·       Complete details regarding the applicant and inventor(s) (their names, nationality and addresses). ·       Application Form (for convention or non-convention application) duly executed by applicant. ·       Patent specification and claims in the English language alongwith drawings, if any. ·       A certified copy of the priority document. ·       Duly executed Power of Attorney.
Prosecution Process·        Filing ·        Publication ·        Examination ·        Pre-grant opposition ·        Grant ·        Post-grant opposition ·        Renewal  
Registration TermThe term of a patent is twenty years from the date of the application.

Patent Search In Pakistan

How to conduct Patent Search in Pakistan?

In general, patent search is conducted before filing an application for patent in order to ensure that the invention is not a prior art or state of the art.

In section 8(2) of the Patents Ordinance, 2000, “prior art” or “state of the art” is defined in as comprising:  

  • Everything disclosed to the public anywhere in the world by publication in tangible form, by oral disclosure, by use or in any other way, before the filing date or the priority date, of the claimed invention;
  •  The contents of the complete specification and priority documents of an application filed in Pakistan published when the application is accepted; and
  •  Traditionally developed or existing knowledge available or in possession of a local or indigenous community. At present, the Patent Office of Pakistan doesn’t have any online patent search database. However a request can be made with the Patent Office for patent search on form P-27 along with prescribed fees.

What are the criteria for Patent search in Pakistan?

The patent search in Pakistan can be based on any of the following criteria:

  • Patent No.;
  • Application No. for patent;
  • Name of Patentee/Applicant;
  • Title of Invention/Application;
  •  Subject matter of patent(s); and
  •  Classification of the patent(s).

Below is the snapshot of P-27 –Request for Search:

Types of Patent Applications In Pakistan

What are the different types of applications in Pakistan?

The different types of Patent applications that can be filed in Pakistan are:

a) Ordinary Application

An ordinary patent application is the application which is filed with the Pakistan Patent Office without claiming priority from any other application under process with any other Patent Office.

b) Provisional and Complete Application

A provisional specification is often the first application to be filed in respect of an invention. It usually contains only a brief description of the invention and need not contain claims. However, a complete specification must be filed within 12 months from the date of filing of the provisional specification. The complete specification contains the full description of the invention i.e. title, field of invention, background of invention, description of related art, drawbacks of prior art, summary of invention, brief description of figures, the detailed description of preferred embodiments, claims and abstract, and the best mode of working.

c) Convention Application

As per section 2(c) of Patents Ordinance, convention application is an application that is made in Pakistan within twelve months after the date of an application made in a convention country, whether claiming single or multiple priorities from such application.

d) Patent of addition

In accordance with Section 39 and 40 of the Patents Ordinance, 2000, a patent of addition is a mere improvement or modification of an already filed invention. An application of patent of addition shall either have the same date of filing of the complete specification or later in respect of the main invention. An application of patent of addition is not granted a patent before the main invention. No renewal fee is required to be paid for the patent of addition and it expires along with the main invention/patent. However, if the main patent is revoked, then the patent of addition may be converted into an independent patent on request of the applicant(s). Under such circumstances, same renewal fee must be paid as if the patent has been originally granted as an independent patent.

e) Divisional application

As per Section 13 of the Patents Ordinance, 2000, an applicant may, before the acceptance of the application, divide it into two or more applications provided that each application shall not go beyond the disclosure in the first application. Such application(s) are called as divisional application(s). Each divisional application shall have the priority date of the first application.

Patent Application Filing Requirements in Pakistan

Who can file the patent application in Pakistan?

An application for a patent may be filed by any of the following persons, either alone or jointly with any other person:  

  • The true and first inventor of the invention;
  • The assignee of a person claiming to be the true and first inventor;
  • The legal representative of any deceased person who immediately before his/her death was entitled to make such an application.

It may be filed at the Pakistan Patent Office in Karachi or one of its Branch Offices in Lahore or headquarters in Islamabad.

How to file a Patent Application in Pakistan?

It may be filed in either of the two ways:

  • A physical copy of the Patent applications can be filed; or
  •  The application may be sent electronically but the fee has to be sent manually after which a filing date is allotted. The hard copy may be filed later.

Document required for filing:

  •  Patent specification and claims in the English language along with drawings, if any;
  •  Complete details regarding the applicant(s) and inventor(s) (names, nationality and address);
  •  Application Form (for convention or non-convention application) signed by Applicant(s);
  •  Duly executed Power of Authority for the Agent;
  •  A certified copy of the priority document (if any). If the document is in a language other than English, a verified English translation, duly notarized by a notary public, of the same is also required to be filed at the Pakistan Patent Office.

Language

All the details and other formal documents must be filed in English.

Sources: Patents Ordinance, 2000

http://ipo.gov.pk/patent/
http://islamabad.usembassy.gov/root/pdfs/ipr_patents.pdf

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